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PhD in Education (College Student Affairs Administration-Athens Campus only)

The Ph.D. in Education (College Student Affairs Administration-Athens Campus only) provides you with the knowledge and skills to create and enhance the educational environments of colleges and universities.

Through research, coursework, discussion, and out-of-class experiences, this program helps foster intellectual, psychosocial, and professional growth. We prepare you to advance professionally as faculty members and college student affairs educators.


  1. Department is consistently ranked in the top three in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  2. All faculty members have served as practitioners
  3. Graduates find rewarding careers as faculty members and student affairs administrators
  4. All students complete teaching internships in the CSAA master’s program
  5. Individual independent research projects include an initial study and a dissertation, as well as opportunities on research teams


The Ph.D. in College Student Affairs Administration uses a theory-to-practice-to-theory philosophy and model. This design educates scholar-practitioners and professionals engaged in evidence-based work contributing new knowledge to the field.

Coursework readies students for advanced positions in college student affairs administration, faculty positions in graduate student affairs preparation programs, and positions in student affairs assessment, evaluation, and outcomes research.

Full-time students generally complete the Ph.D. in three to four years. While the program admits both full-time and part-time students, all doctoral students meet weekly in a doctoral seminar.

In this program, you will:

  • Take courses related to theoretical foundations and practical applications of student affairs work
  • Select additional courses in relevant areas to support research and other interests
  • Receive training in both quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Partner with faculty as part of a research team
  • Complete at least one teaching internship
  • Prepare both an initial independent research project and a dissertation involving original research

Students entering the program with less than five years of full-time professional experience also complete an administrative internship.

Required coursework topics for the Ph.D. in College Student Affairs Administration includes:

  • Equity and inclusion in student affairs
  • Student affairs administration
  • Advanced theories of college student development
  • College student characteristics and issues
  • Organization development, policy development, and consultation
  • Environmental and facilities management
  • Outcomes assessment and program evaluation
  • Research methods

The research and evaluation core includes:

  • Applied analysis of variance
  • Applied correlation and regression methods in education
  • Qualitative research in education

You will also take part in elective courses and internships. These experiences lay the groundwork for completing your dissertation.

As a student in the Ph.D. program, you benefit from the guidance and instruction of our faculty. Faculty members have broad experience in student affairs as practitioners, researchers, and teachers. Research and teaching interests include college environments, gender issues, identity development, assessment, poverty, supervised practice, and access and inclusion.

The Ph.D. program is a community of practice. Students represent diverse backgrounds and while they take courses together, each is crafting the experience to best meet their needs as a student. Limited enrollment ensures students receive ample individual attention and meaningful personal interaction with faculty throughout the program. The intentional community of practice model helps students develop professional relationships with each other.


Live Information Sessions and Q&A with Faculty

In the Fall and Spring, a student affairs faculty member hosts a one-hour virtual meeting for anyone interested in the UGA doctoral programs in student affairs or hoping to speak directly to a faculty member about the programs. The faculty member hosting these meetings teaches in both the Athens campus Ph.D. in college student affairs administration (CSAA-D) program and the Griffin campus (hybrid) Ed.D. in student affairs leadership (SAL) program and speaks to both programs at the meetings. The meeting will begin with a brief (30 minute) information session that introduces both of the doctoral programs in student affairs and answers frequently asked questions.

The remaining time (30 minutes) will be reserved for questions and answers (Q&A) for prospective students, where attendees can speak directly to a faculty member about either or both programs and ask any remaining questions not covered in the information session.

Advanced registration is required. Please select one of the dates below to register for a live Information Session and Q&A with a faculty member.

Upcoming Dates

Video: Pre-Recorded Information Session

Did you miss the Live Information Sessions? Watch this video to learn detailed information about the College Student Affairs Administration Ph.D. program!

How to Apply

Part 1: Apply to the University of Georgia

The Graduate School handles admission for all graduate programs at the University of Georgia, including those in the College of Education. The Graduate School website contains important details about the application process, orientation, and many other useful links to guide you through the process of attending UGA at the graduate level.

Start A Graduate School Application

Part 2: Apply to the Ph.D. in Education (College Student Affairs Administration-Athens Campus only)

To apply, submit the following:

  • Graduate School application

  • Official transcripts

  • Statement of purpose

  • Curriculum vita/Resume

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • TOEFL or IELTS (international students only)

  • Writing Sample:
    If invited to interview, a writing sample is required to be submitted as part of the admission process.

    If invited to campus, (1) an email will be sent with specific instructions about the structure and focus of the paper (2) with two weeks to write and electronically submit the writing sample.This requirement is intended to provide the faculty with critical information on one’s ability to frame, analyze, and offer perspective on a current higher education issue of one’s own choosing.

Note: The GRE is not required for admission into the Ph.D. college student affairs administration (Athens campus) program.

Admission is based on the following:

  • Undergraduate and graduate academic achievement
  • References
  • Professional contributions to the field
  • Quality and extent of professional work experience
  • Personal goal compatibility with program goals
  • Potential for success as a professional scholar/practitioner
  • Demonstrated commitment to the field

Applicants must have completed a master’s degree from accredited universities and have successful full-time professional work experience. Full time students should have at least two years of post-master’s work experience in student affairs; part-time students who work full time in student affairs while enrolled in doctoral study need at least one year of post-master’s work experience in student affairs prior to initial enrollment.

The admission and graduate assistantship decision processes take place concurrently. Both interviews will be handled during the on-campus interview component of the admissions process.

Deadline To Apply

January 3

Log Into Existing Application

Additional Resources

Please use our online form if you have any questions for the department. Please be as specific as possible so that we may quickly assist you.

Faculty and Advisors

The College’s programs are taught by dedicated faculty who are experts in a range of areas and are passionate about helping students succeed both in their programs and professionally.

Meet the Faculty

Most graduate students at UGA are not assigned to a faculty advisor until after admittance. A close working relationship with your advisor is paramount to progressing through your program of study.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Almost all in-state students begin their studies at UGA paying limited tuition or fees. Please note that these amounts are subject to change and are meant to give prospective students an idea of the costs associated with a degree at the University of Georgia College of Education.

Students may qualify for a variety of assistantships, scholarships, and other financial awards to help offset the cost of tuition, housing, and other expenses.

Tuition Rates   Browse Financial Aid

Student Life

Full-time students can apply for graduate assistantships to receive both a tuition waiver and stipend.

In addition to pursuing an individual research agenda, you may be an active member of one or more research teams during your time in the program. You will co-teach a master’s level student affairs administration course with a full-time faculty member. Some students pursue the Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching to gain additional experience.

As a student, you may join the University of Georgia Student Personnel Association, which coordinates social events, professional development, and community service.

See for yourself how much UGA College of Education has to offer! Schedule a tour of campus to learn more about the UGA student experience.

Schedule A Visit

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